The Body Coach recipes: Get lean together with Joe Wicks

Lean The Body Coach recipes to enjoy together, from Joe’s brilliant new book – scroll down for details and money-saving offer, and for recipe links.

‘I believe the recipes can help your whole family get leaner and healthier. And I love seeing my little nephew Oscar making his debut appearance at just seven days old,’ says Joe

First, I would like to say thank you for choosing to explore this special preview of my new book. I’m really excited to be sharing these new recipes with you. Since day one, it has been my aim to get more people cooking healthy food at home, and I believe the new book will do just that. I haven’t included any workouts in it, so this one is all about the food.

The recipes are tasty and easy to make, and as I’ve designed most of them to serve 4-6 people, you and the whole family can enjoy them and stay lean together.

There are some proper banging personal favourites in there, including home-cooked classics that remind me of my Nanny Kath.

I used to stay with her after school sometimes and she would fatten me up until I fell asleep on the carpet in front of the fire. I love how food can bring back such good memories.

You’ll notice that some of the recipes, such as my Sunday roasts, one-pot dishes and traybakes, take longer to make than my signature 15-minute meals, but I promise they’re worth the wait. I’ve done my best to keep the prep times low, so once it’s done you can leave the dish to cook, put your feet up and relax, or fit in a sneaky workout.

I’ve also thrown in a couple of my favourite naughty treats. These pub classics, such as sticky toffee pudding, are so not lean. LOL! Oh well, guilty as charged. I don’t recommend eating them every day, but we all deserve a treat now and again.

Egg & chorizo muffins

LET’S GET EVERYBODY LEAN

I think there is a big misconception that trying to get lean and eat more healthily isolates you from your friends and family. That could be the case for people following a really low-calorie, restrictive diet but I’m not about that life. It’s not enjoyable or sustainable. I don’t believe in low-calorie diets or that you need to spend your day eating boring meals out of lunch boxes, cooking separate dishes for yourself or avoiding dining out with friends and family altogether.

With these recipes, I’m going to show you that eating healthily can be fun and inclusive for everyone at every occasion – even parties, barbecues and Sunday lunches.

START ’EM YOUNG

I believe that kids should be involved in the food choices at home and educated as early as possible about good nutrition and exercise. It’s a really important time for them and it will help shape their health and their future.

When I was growing up, my mum didn’t have a clue about nutrition and healthy cooking, and the cupboards were full of junk food. We rarely sat together as a family and ate. I pretty much lived on sandwiches, pasta with tomato sauce, sweets and cereal. This seemed normal to me at the time, but now I know there is a much healthier way to live. I think it’s never too early to get kids started in the kitchen.

To get them involved, you could ask them to help you write shopping lists and fill the baskets at the supermarket. These may seem like small things but I think they could have a big impact.

‘Eating healthily can be fun and inclusive for everyone,’ says Joe

CAN I GET LEAN WITHOUT EXERCISING?

Although I haven’t included workouts in the book, I want to talk briefly about the importance of exercise when trying to maintain a healthy body. If you’re someone who struggles to stay active and can’t bear the thought of going to the gym, then this message is for you.

I’m a big believer in doing home workouts and I also believe it’s never too late to get lean. You don’t need a gym or lots of expensive equipment to get fit. I have a YouTube channel called The Body Coach TV where I share free workouts, which you can do anywhere, at any time. To build strong lean muscle and have a fit healthy heart, you need to work for it – it won’t come by itself. Plus if you work out you can enjoy more of the foods you love!

DON’T OBSESS THE CALORIES

Many of my meals are high in calories and the reason I don’t list them is because I don’t think people should obsessively count calories. That said, in order to reduce body fat you do need to be burning more calories than you are consuming, so if you want to actually see changes in your body, get moving and try to make exercise a part of your life. There’s no need to try to get by on a really low-calorie diet when instead you can exercise, feel good and eat the meals from the book, knowing you are making progress.

Exercise isn’t just going to make you feel and look better, it’s also going to give you more energy and confidence. My advice is to aim for 25 minutes of exercise, four to five days per week.

WHAT SHOULD I BE EATING & WHEN?

The recipes in the book are broken into two main categories: reduced carb and post-workout (plus some sweet treats for now and then).

Reduced-carbohydrate meals are higher in healthy fats and proteins. These types of meals are brilliant to have on rest or less active days.

The post-workout meals contain protein and carbohydrates but are lower in fat. These meals are ideally eaten after exercise or on more active days.

I consume three reduced-carb meals on a rest day and two reduced-carb meals and one post-workout meal on a training day. I find this a simple and effective way of staying lean as I am fuelling my body with the right energy source at the right time. It’s the plan I suggest you follow in the book. Eating this way will make you feel awesome and provide your body with the essential fats to keep fit and healthy.

PORTION CAUTION

One thing to be aware of is your portion sizes. Everyone is different and will have different energy demands. For example, if you are an active 20-year-old exercising five days per week, you will need more food than someone who is 40 and doesn’t exercise much. The key here is to eat to feel energised, so simply increase or decrease your portions accordingly. Once you get that bit right, you’ll find it very easy to sustain a healthy lifestyle and a lean body all year round.

Good luck! I hope you enjoy this sample of recipes from the new book. I’m really proud of it and love seeing my little nephew Oscar making his debut appearance (in the picture, above) at just seven days old. I believe the book can help your whole family get leaner and healthier. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to try out some of my workouts, too. Stay in touch on social media (details below).

Sticky toffee pudding

KEY TO THE RECIPES

I’ve included guide prep and cooking times with each recipe. Some are brilliant for making ahead or for freezing, others you can just whack in the oven after a few minutes of prepping. Check out the labels on the individual recipes.

REDUCED CARB These are lower in carbohydrates, emphasising healthy fats and protein. They will provide your body with a steady source of energy and keep your blood-sugar levels stable. This means you won’t crash or crave sugars or caffeine to get you through the day. Among my personal faves are the Egg & Chorizo Muffins, which make an ideal breakfast on the go. Don’t miss out on my Chicken & Mozzarella Salad with Warm Tomato Dressing. And, trust me, my halloumi dippers will go down a treat.

POST-WORKOUT Don’t fear the carbs! These recipes are designed to refuel your body after you exercise. They are lower in fat but high in carbohydrate and protein. This is just what your muscles need to rebuild and repair after working out. Let these big-carb meals be your motivation to smash your workout days. After a HIIT session, there’s no greater reward than my Shakshuka or Bad Boy Chilli.

TREATS One thing we all need now and again is a little treat, especially if we’re exercising and eating well most of the time. There are a few healthier ones in the book but it’s the naughty ones such as Sticky Toffee Pudding and Apple Strudel Pie that really get me going!

The Body Coach recipes


Salmon, prawn & avocado salad

 

This is a great recipe full of healthy fats to give you lots of energy. It looks awesome on one big serving plate that everyone can get stuck into.

PREP 15 MINS

COOK 20 MINS

 

SERVES 4

300g salmon fillet, skin on

6 tbsp olive oil

2 gherkins, drained and finely chopped

2 large shallots, finely diced

1½ tbsp capers, roughly chopped

3 lemons

salt and pepper

1 iceberg lettuce, shredded

2 avocados, de-stoned and cut into wedges

1 x 110g ball of mozzarella, drained

12 cherry tomatoes, roughly halved

16 cooked king prawns

30g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

small bunch of dill, finely sliced

small bunch of chives, finely sliced

 

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil over a high heat.

2) When the water is boiling, slide in the salmon fillet, place a lid on top and reduce the temperature to its lowest setting. Leave the fish to cook like this for 15 minutes, then take the pan off the heat and leave it in the water for 5 minutes.

3) Carefully remove the fillet from the pan, peel off the skin and then leave to cool completely.

4) To make the dressing, mix together the olive oil, chopped gherkins, shallots, capers and the juice of one lemon. Season with a little salt and pepper.

5) Spread the shredded lettuce over a large plate and place the avocado wedges over the top. Break up the cooked salmon into large chunks with a fork and dot around the plate. Tear the mozzarella into chunks and scatter on top along with the cherry tomatoes and king prawns.Squeeze over the juice of another lemon and then spoon or drizzle the dressing all over the salad. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges. Sprinkle over the chopped pistachios, dill and chives and serve with the lemon wedges.

 

Lamb McLeanie burger

If you follow me on social media you’ll know that burgers are my favourite thing in the world. This one, made with lamb mince and breadcrumbs, is a real winner.

 

PREP 15 MINS

COOK 50 MINS

 

SERVES 6

750g new or Charlotte potatoes, cut in half lengthways

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp coconut oil

1 red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

½ cucumber

800g reduced-fat lamb mince

2 tsp ground cumin, plus an extra pinch

50g fresh breadcrumbs

1 egg

150g zero-fat Greek yoghurt

salt and pepper

 

TO SERVE

6 burger buns

chipotle paste

sliced tomato and lettuce leaves

 

1) Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/gas 4). Fire up the barbecue or preheat the griddle pan.

2) Chuck the potatoes into a roasting dish, pour over the oil, sprinkle on the paprika and season with salt and pepper. Toss the whole lot together so the potatoes are evenly slicked in the oil, then slide into the oven and roast for 45 minutes, turning a couple of times during the cooking process.

3) Melt the coconut oil in a frying pan over a medium-to-high heat. When it is hot, add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Next, add the garlic to the pan and continue to fry for 1 more minute. Tip the mixture on to a plate and leave to cool a little.

4) Grate the cucumber and place it in a sieve. Sprinkle over ½ teaspoon of salt, mix well and leave the cucumber to sit and drain while you carry on with the rest of the recipe.

5) Plonk the mince in a large bowl and add the 2 teaspoons of ground cumin, breadcrumbs and egg along with some salt and pepper. Scrape in the onion and garlic and then use your hands to mix the whole lot together.

6) With slightly damp hands, shape the meat into six roughly equal-sized burgers. Cook on the barbecue or in a griddle pan for about 4 minutes on each side, then remove from the heat and leave to rest for a couple of minutes

7) Give the draining cucumbers a squeeze, then tip them into a bowl with the yoghurt, season with salt and pepper and the final pinch of ground cumin, and mix well with a spoon

8) Build your burger however you like. I prefer to spread the bun with chipotle paste, whack on the burger, top with tomatoes and lettuce, dollop with the cucumber yoghurt and serve with the paprika spuds.

 

Baked risotto with cod

 

I’m totally obsessed with risotto at the moment. This one with cod and loads of veg is super healthy and really easy to prepare.

 

PREP 10 MINS

COOK 30 MINS

 

SERVES 4-6

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 leek, finely chopped

5 rashers of back bacon, visible fat removed, cut into 1cm strips

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

1 tbsp tomato purée

2 tsp smoked sweet paprika

250g arborio or similar risotto rice

750ml chicken stock

6 x 150g skinless cod fillets

salt and pepper

16 cherry tomatoes, on the vine if possible

 

TO SERVE

bunch of parsley, roughly chopped

lemon wedges

 

EQUIPMENT

large hob-proof casserole dish or ovenproof saucepan

 

1)Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/gas 4).

2) Heat half the olive oil in a large, hob-proof casserole dish or ovenproof saucepan over a medium-to-high heat. Slide in the onion, leek and sliced bacon and fry, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes, or until the onions and leek are starting to soften. Add the chopped garlic and mushrooms and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes.

3) Squeeze in the tomato purée and stir through the mixture. Add the paprika and rice and continue stir-frying for 30 seconds. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, before clamping on a tight lid and transferring to the preheated oven. Bake the rice for 12 minutes.

4) While the rice is cooking, heat up half the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Season the cod with salt and pepper and when the oil is hot, carefully lay in three fillets. Brown on both sides – you are not trying to cook the fish through here, just to brown it. Remove the browned cod to a plate and repeat the process with the remaining oil and fish.

5) After 12 minutes, take the risotto from the oven, remove the lid and give the rice a good stir. Lay the fish and tomatoes on top of the rice and then slide the dish back into the oven, uncovered. Roast the whole lot for 10 minutes, until the fish is perfectly cooked through and the tomatoes are softening but still holding their shape.

6) Remove the risotto from the oven, sprinkle with parsley and serve with the lemon wedges.

 

Low-carb bangers & mash with sage & onion gravy

 

This is a really awesome low-carb alternative to potato mash – perfect for rest days. The kids probably won’t even realise they’re eating cauliflower. It’s so tasty I reckon you’ll want this cheesy alternative every time. Serve it up with the sage and onion gravy (see below) from my Toad in the Hole from the book.

 

PREP 15 MINS

COOK 20 MINS 

 

SERVES 4

1 medium cauliflower, florets only (about 600g)

1 x 400g tin of butter beans, drained and rinsed (about 240g)

12 sausages

25g parmesan, grated

40g cheddar, grated

salt and pepper

 

TO SERVE

sage and onion gravy (see recipe, below)

small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

steamed greens

 

1) Preheat the grill to maximum.

2) Bring a large pan of water to the boil and then chuck in the cauliflower florets and the drained butter beans. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until soft. Drain the cauliflower and beans thoroughly and return to the warm pan.

3) While the cauliflower and beans are simmering away, slide the sausages under the grill and cook them for about 12 minutes, turning a couple of times until they are cooked through.

4) While the cauliflower and beans are hot, roughly mash the whole lot together (you won’t end up with a smooth mash; it will still have texture to it). Add both cheeses and stir in to melt. Add a little salt and pepper if you think it needs it.

5) By now your sausages should be cooked, so serve up the cheesy mash with three sausages each and a ladleful of sage and onion gravy. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with a healthy portion of steamed greens on the side.

Sage & onion gravy

This also goes well with my Toad in the Hole, which remains one of my favourite meals as it reminds me of growing up, when I used to stay around my Nanny Kath’s after school. She always turned up to meet me with a bag of sweets and would make this for me for dinner. It’s really easy: you’ll find the full recipe in the book.

 

SERVES 4

½ tbsp sunflower oil

1 large onion, finely sliced

salt

6 sage leaves, finely sliced

1 tbsp plain flour

splash of sherry vinegar

500ml chicken or beef stock

 

1) Make the onion gravy by heating the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and adding the sliced onion. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt and cook the onion slowly for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until very soft and lightly browned.

2) Stir in the sage leaves and the flour and, stirring almost constantly, cook for 45 seconds before adding the splash of vinegar, boiling it until it has almost disappeared. Gradually pour in the stock, stirring it well before adding more, to avoid lumps in the gravy. When all the stock is in the pan, bring the gravy to the boil and then keep it warm until you are ready to eat.

 

Joe’s big meaty balls

 

I’ve combined both beef and lamb mince in this recipe and it works so well. It gives the meatballs much more flavour. I think once you try these you’ll be coming back for more.

 

PREP 15 MINS

COOK 45 MINS

 

SERVES 4

500g lamb mince

250g beef mince

50g breadcrumbs

1 egg

12 pitted black olives, roughly chopped

20g pine nuts, roughly chopped

small bunch of parsley, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish

2 jarred red peppers (about 100g), drained and roughly chopped into small pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, diced

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

salt and pepper

2 x 110g balls of mozzarella

 

TO SERVE

mint leaves, roughly chopped

salad or steamed green beans

 

1) Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/gas 4).Place the lamb and beef mince in a bowl and add the breadcrumbs. Crack in the egg and chuck in the olives, pine nuts, chopped parsley and red peppers.

2) Get your hands stuck in and knead all the ingredients together until the mixture is well combined. With damp hands, shape the mixture into 12 large balls and set aside.

3) Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof pan over a medium-to-high heat. When the oil is hot, chuck in the red onion and fry, stirring regularly, for 2 minutes. Tip in the chopped tomatoes along with a quarter tin of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.

4)Place the meatballs in the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes, then carefully flip them over with a large spoon. Tear up the mozzarella balls and lay a little piece on top of each meatball. Any remaining cheese can be scattered in the sauce.

5) Slide your pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the meatballs are fully cooked through and the cheese has melted and turned golden brown on top. Scatter over the mint leaves and remaining chopped parsley and serve with a helping of salad or steamed green beans.

 

Joe’s fish pie

 

After the success of Joe’s Chicken Pie in my first book, I decided to create an even tastier one. This pie uses smoked haddock, salmon and prawns and it tastes unbelievable. It’s so creamy inside and the crispy filo pastry on top seals the deal for me.

 

PREP 15 MINS

COOK 30 MINS

 

SERVES 4-6

4 eggs

large knob of butter

1 onion, diced

¼ tsp ground mace

1 bay leaf

180g skinless smoked haddock, cut into 3cm chunks

200ml fish stock

75ml double cream

400g skinless salmon, cut into 3cm chunks

180g raw king prawns, peeled

50g parmesan, grated

½ bunch of parsley, finely chopped

3 large sheets of filo pastry (1 x 270g pack)

steamed greens or salad, to serve

 

EQUIPMENT

23cm x 18cm baking dish

 

1) Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/gas 4) and bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil.

2) Gently lower in the eggs and simmer for 8 minutes. When they are cooked, run them under cold water and peel each one. Set the eggs to one side.

3) While the eggs are cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium-to-high heat. When it is bubbling, add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, or until the onion is beginning to soften.

4) Increase the heat to maximum and add the mace, bay leaf and haddock chunks. Fry the whole lot together for 1 minute and then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute, then add the double cream and bring to a simmer one last time before turning off the heat.

5)Add the salmon, prawns, parmesan and parsley and gently stir to combine everything. Roughly chop the boiled eggs and fold them through the mixture. Tip the whole lot into the baking dish.

6) Roughly scrunch up the filo pastry sheets and sit them on top of the mixture. Slide the fish pie into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the pastry has coloured and the mixture is piping hot. Serve with steamed greens or a simple salad.

 

Ginger chicken biryani

 

Did someone say curry night? I hope so. If you want to impress your mates, don’t order one in, get this one going instead. It tastes authentic and is leaner than any takeaway.

 

PREP 15 MINS

COOK 50 MINS

 

SERVES 6

2 tbsp coconut oil

6 cloves

5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed

2 onions, roughly chopped

7cm fresh ginger, finely chopped

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp garam masala

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground turmeric

1½ tsp chilli powder – more if you like it hot

10 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, roughly cut into 4cm chunks

3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 bunches of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

3 x 250g packets of pre-cooked rice

pomegranate seeds, to serve

 

EQUIPMENT

food processor

large hob-proof casserole dish

 

1) Melt 1½ tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium-to-high heat. When it is hot, add the cloves and cardamom pods and fry for 2 minutes. While the spices are frying, blitz the onions in a food processor until they are pretty much smooth and tip straight into the pan.

2) Fry the onions and spices, stirring regularly, for about 8 minutes, until soft. Add the fresh ginger and garlic and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, then sprinkle in all of the ground herbs and spices. Fry, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. If the mixture is starting to stick to the bottom of the pan, pour in a little water.

3) Scrape in the chicken and stir, cooking for another minute or so. Next add the chopped tomatoes and pour in 200ml water. Gently bring the whole lot to a simmer. Simmer the curry with a cocked lid on top for 30 minutes, giving it a little stir every now and then to make sure it isn’t burning at the bottom of the pan.

4) After 30 minutes, take the curry off the heat and stir through half the chopped coriander. Leave the curry to cool to room temperature.

5) About 15 minutes before you are ready to eat, zap the rice in the microwave. Melt the remaining coconut oil in a large casserole pan and carefully tilt the pan so that the bottom and the sides are greased with coconut oil. Remove the pan from the heat.

6) Take one packet of rice and tip it into the bottom of the pan, using a spoon or fork to spread it out roughly. Next, spoon half of the curry straight on to the rice and spread it out evenly. Tip the second packet of rice on to the curry and spread it over evenly, then pour the remaining curry on to the rice. Spread it out and then cover with the final packet of rice.

7) Place the lid tightly on top and put the casserole over a low heat for 5 minutes. The rice at the bottom of the pan should have browned a little and turned crunchy.

8) Proudly carry your curry to the table, remove the lid and top with the remaining chopped coriander and pomegranate seeds.

 

NOTE If you don’t have a pot with a tight lid, lay a clean tea towel over the top of the pan and then place a lid, plate or baking tray over the top. Be careful to tuck in the ends of the tea towel so they don’t catch fire!

Egg & chorizo muffins

 

Egg & chorizo muffins

 

PREP 10 MINS

COOK 30 MINS

MAKES 10

REDUCED CARB/MAKE AHEAD 

 

½ tbsp coconut oil

120g cooking chorizo, roughly chopped into 1cm pieces

10 eggs

1 courgette, grated

large handful of baby spinach

75g pizza mozzarella, grated

4 spring onions, finely sliced

salt and pepper

a little butter, for greasing

 

EQUIPMENT

12-hole muffin tin

1)Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/gas 4). Melt the oil in a frying pan over a medium-to-high heat. When it is hot, add the chorizo and fry, stirring regularly, for 3 minutes, or until the chorizo is cooked through. Remove it from the frying pan to a clean piece of kitchen roll to blot some of the oil.

2) Crack the eggs into a large bowl and give them a good whisk. Add the grated courgette, spinach, grated mozzarella, sliced spring onions and, finally, the cooling chorizo. Season with a little salt and pepper and then give the whole lot a stir.

3) Grease the muffin tin with the butter and spoon equal amounts of the egg mixture into ten of the holes, distributing the ingredients as evenly as you can.

4) Carefully slide the tin into the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the muffins are cooked through and lightly golden on top.

5) Don’t attempt to take the muffins out of the tin immediately, as they might break up. Give them a few minutes to cool, then get stuck in.

Halloumi dippers

 

Halloumi dippers

 

PREP 12 MINS

COOK 10 MINS

 

SERVES 4

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 eggs

75g plain flour

150g panko breadcrumbs

2 tsp nigella seeds

2 x 250g blocks of halloumi, patted dry and cut into 1cm slices

300g fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped into 2cm chunks

juice of 1 lime

½ red onion, finely chopped

1½ tbsp chipotle paste

salt and pepper

1 avocado, stoned and cut into thick wedges

rocket, to serve

 

1) Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/gas 4).

2) Spoon the coconut oil on to a baking tray and slide the tray into the oven to heat for 5 minutes while you crumb your halloumi.

3) Crack the eggs into a bowl and give them a whisk. Tip the flour and breadcrumbs into separate bowls and mix the nigella seeds through the breadcrumbs. Pick up a slice of halloumi and first dip it into the flour, giving it a little shake to remove any excess, then dip into the egg, again giving it a little shake.

4) Drop the slice into the breadcrumbs and flip around a couple of times to ensure it is evenly coated. Place the crumbed cheese on a plate and then repeat the process with the remaining slices of cheese.

5) When you have a neat line of crumbed cheese, carefully slide the hot baking tray out of the oven and lay the cheese slices in the hot oil. Slide the tray back into the oven and cook for 3 minutes, then carefully flip the cheeses over and cook for a further 3 minutes, until the halloumi is warmed through and the breadcrumbs are golden.

6) While the cheese is baking, mix together the tomatoes, lime juice, red onion and chipotle paste and season with salt and pepper.

7) Before serving, slide the baked cheese on to a clean piece of kitchen roll and dab off the excess oil. Serve with the avocado, the quick tomato salsa and a big fistful of rocket.

 

Roast chicken, mash & bacon greens

 

If you want a healthier version of a Sunday roast, then look no further. I’ve used celeriac instead of potato to make a low-carb mash and added some more flavour to the greens by frying them with bacon.

 

PREP 20 MINS

COOK 1  HR 30 MINS

 

SERVES 4

1 good-quality whole chicken (around 1.5kg)

4 sprigs of thyme

5 stalks of sage

1 onion, cut into wedges

juice of 1 lemon

1 litre chicken stock

2 celeriac, peeled and roughly cubed

40g butter

salt and pepper

1 tbsp cornflour

 

FOR THE BACON GREENS

10g butter

3 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, cut into 1cm strips

2 bunches spring greens, tough stalks removed, leaves roughly shredded

220g midget trees (tender-stem broccoli), cut in half, stalk and all

 

1) Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/gas 4).

2) Put the chicken in a roasting tin and place three of the thyme sprigs and four of the sage stalks into its cavity with the onion wedges. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and pour 500ml of the stock into the tin.

3) Slide the prepped chicken into the oven and roast for about 1 hour 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through – check by slicing into the thickest part of the thigh to make sure that the juices run clear. When the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a plate and cover with tinfoil to rest for around 15 minutes.

4) While the chicken is roasting, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the celeriac cubes and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the pieces are very tender. Drain the celeriac in a sieve or colander and leave to steam dry.

5) Add the butter to the same saucepan and allow it to melt in the residual heat. Give the celeriac one more shake and then tip it into the pan with the butter. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper and then mash. Don’t mash up the celeriac too much – it is nice to retain some texture. Keep warm until ready to serve.

6) About 15 minutes before the chicken is ready, make the bacon greens. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. When it is hot, add the bacon and fry over a medium-to-high heat for 2 minutes.

7) Add the spring greens and midget trees along with a splash of water and put a lid on top. Steam the greens for 5 minutes, or until just tender. Keep warm until ready to serve.

8)While the chicken is resting, pour the liquid from the roasting tin into a measuring jug and make it up to 500ml with the remaining chicken stock. Put the roasting tin or a saucepan on the hob and pour the liquid in.

9) Mix the cornflour with about 2 tablespoons of water or stock and pour it into the warming mixture in the tin or saucepan (do not add the cornflour if the mixture is boiling or it will go lumpy) and then increase the heat, stirring constantly until your gravy has thickened.

10) Strip the leaves from the remaining thyme and sage stalks, finely chop them up and add them to the gravy. Serve up and enjoy.

 

Sweet potato shakshuka

 

This makes a really great meal or breakfast for any day of the week. I use sweet potato and ham in this recipe, and they taste incredible.

 

PREP 10 MINS

COOK 20 MINS

 

SERVES 4

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks

½ tbsp coconut oil

4 red onions, sliced

1 tsp chilli flakes – more if you like it hot

10 sage leaves, finely sliced

200g kale, stalks removed

275g thick-cut deli ham, cut into

1cm strips

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

4 eggs

large bunch of parsley, roughly chopped

 

1) Place the sweet potato chunks in a bowl along with a splash of water. Cover with clingfilm, zap in the microwave for 4 minutes and set aside.

2) While the sweet potatoes are spinning, melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium-to-high heat. When it is hot, add the sliced onions and cook for 3 minutes until starting to soften. Sprinkle in the chilli flakes and sliced sage leaves and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes.

3) Unwrap the sweet potatoes, drain off the excess water and then chuck them in the pan. Pile in the kale and keep stirring until it wilts – this will take about 5 minutes.

4) Stir in the ham strips, then pour in the chopped tomatoes along with half a tin of water. Bring to the boil. One at a time, make a small indent in the mixture with a wooden spoon and crack an egg into each one.

5) Place a lid on top and cook for 7 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve.

 

Chicken, chorizo & cauliflower traybake

 

This is one of those meals that is well worth the wait. It tastes incredible and everything gets thrown in the same tray. I recommend preheating the oil in the roasting tray to get the chicken skin nice and crispy.

 

PREP 12 MINS

COOK 40 MINS

 

SERVES 4

2 tbsp olive oil

4 chicken breasts, skin-on

1 cauliflower, florets only (roughly 500g)

1 red onion, cut into 12 wedges

150g cooking chorizo, cut into 1cm pieces

4 sprigs of thyme

16 cherry tomatoes, preferably on the vine

2 large handfuls of baby spinach

 

1) Preheat the oven to 190C (fan 170C/gas 5).

2) When the oven is hot, pour the oil into a roasting tray and slide it into the oven. Leave the tray to heat up for 10 minutes.

3) When the oil is nice and hot, carefully slide the tray out of the oven and lay the chicken breasts in it, skin-side down. Tumble the cauliflower florets around the breasts and put the tray back into the oven to roast for 10 minutes.

4) Remove the tray from the oven and scatter over the red onion, chorizo and sprigs of thyme. Return the tray to the oven and roast for a further 15 minutes.

5) Take the tray out again, flip over the chicken breasts and give all the vegetables a stir.

6) Place the tomatoes on top of the mixture and give the whole lot one more 10-minute blast in the oven.

7) Remove the tray from the oven and, while it is hot, drop the spinach on top and carefully stir it through so it wilts a little in the heat. Serve.

 

Chicken & mozzarella salad with warm tomato dressing

 

This is probably the best salad I’ve ever made. Poaching the chicken in stock keeps it really moist and gives it so much more flavour. I think your family and friends will love this one.

 

PREP 15 MINS

COOK 20 MINS

 

SERVES 4

1.25 litres chicken stock

4 skinless chicken breasts

5 tbsp olive oil

3 spring onions, finely sliced

2 large sprigs of rosemary, needles only

1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

16 cherry tomatoes, roughly halved

salt and pepper

6 tbsp breadcrumbs

2 avocados, stoned and cut into wedges

2 x 110g balls of mozzarella, torn into large chunks

 

TO SERVE

2 large handfuls of rocket

1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

 

1) Pour the chicken stock into a large lidded saucepan and bring it to the boil. Slide in the chicken breasts – if the liquid doesn’t cover them, add a little more stock or water. Bring back up to the boil, clamp on the lid and then reduce to a low heat. Cook the chicken breasts on a very low simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and leave the chicken in the warm stock for a further 10 minutes with the lid still on.

2) Meanwhile, make the dressing. Pour 4½ tablespoons of the oil into a saucepan and add the spring onions, rosemary, garlic, red chilli and tomatoes along with a good grinding of salt and pepper. Place the saucepan over a medium to low heat and cook for 10 minutes, being sure not to let the oil get too hot. Turn off the heat and leave the mixture to sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.

3) Heat the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a medium-to-high heat. When it is hot, tip in the breadcrumbs and fry for about 3 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a clean piece of kitchen roll to drain off the excess oil.

4) Carefully remove the cooked chicken from the stock and tear it up with your hands or a couple of forks. Place the chicken on a large serving plate along with the avocado and mozzarella chunks. Spoon over the warm tomato dressing, then top with the rocket and the fried breadcrumbs. I like to serve this salad with a little balsamic vinegar on the side.

 

Bad boy chilli con carne

 

This dish will serve a small army so throw any leftovers in the freezer and eat later in the week.

 

PREP 15 MINS 

COOK 2 HRS

 

SERVES 8

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 onions, diced

2 celery sticks, diced

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1-2 tsp cayenne pepper – more if you like it hot

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp ground cumin

1½ tbsp tomato purée

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

50ml Worcestershire sauce

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

200ml beef stock

1kg reduced-fat beef mince

1kg turkey mince

2 x 400g tins of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped

rice, to serve

 

1) Melt about ½ tablespoon of the coconut oil in a very large hob-proof casserole dish or saucepan over a medium-to-high heat. When it is hot, add the diced onions and celery and cook for 4 minutes until the vegetables are just beginning to soften.

2) Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Reduce the heat a little and sprinkle in the paprika, cayenne, oregano and cumin and fry, stirring almost constantly for 30 seconds. Squeeze in the tomato purée and fry again while stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Pour in the vinegar and let it bubble down to almost nothing, then pour in the Worcestershire sauce, tinned tomatoes and beef stock. Bring slowly up to the boil

3) Meanwhile, melt a little more of the coconut oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. When it is hot, add about a third of the meat (mix up the turkey and beef) and fry hard, avoiding the temptation to constantly stir. Fry the meat for about 3 minutes, or until browned all over, then tip the browned meat into the main pot and repeat the process with the remaining oil and mince.

4) Bring the massive pot of chilli up to a simmer and cook with a cocked lid on top for 1 hour 15 minutes, checking every now and then to make sure your chilli doesn’t need a splash more stock to stop it from cooking dry.

5) Finally, add the kidney beans to the mix and cook for a further 20 minutes, until the meat is lovely and soft and the chilli is nice and thick.

6) Finish the chilli with the fresh herbs and serve with rice.

 

Apple strudel pie

 

This is a classic dessert that will go down a treat after any dinner or barbecue. It’s easy to make but will really impress guests.

 

PREP 20 MINS

COOK 45 MINS

 

SERVES 4-6

750g cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into large chunks (peeled weight)

90g soft light brown sugar

1 tsp ground mixed spice

½ tsp ground cinnamon

50g rolled oats

175g blackberries

2-3 filo pastry sheets

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

 

EQUIPMENT

20cm square baking dish

 

1) Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/gas 4).

2) Put the apple in a bowl, add a splash of water, cover with clingfilm and zap in the microwave for 90 seconds – the idea here is not to completely cook the apple, but to give it a little headstart before going into the oven.

3) Tip the apple into a large clean bowl and add the sugar, mixed spice, cinnamon and oats. Give the whole lot a good mix and then tumble in the blackberries and gently toss to combine. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish

.4) Take a sheet of filo and tear it in half, then scrunch both pieces up and place on top of the fruit filling. Continue with the other filo slices until you have totally covered the fruit. Don’t worry about neatness or overlapping; there is almost no right or wrong way to do this bit.

5) Brush the top of the filo with the melted coconut oil, then slide the dish into the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Keep an eye on the pie – if you think it is burning, cover with a little tinfoil and continue to cook.

6) Serve and enjoy.

 

Sticky toffee pudding

 

When I see a chocolate fondant and a sticky toffee pudding on the same menu I seriously struggle to choose between the two. This is one of my all-time favourite pub desserts. It legit tastes like a proper pub-made one, too.

 

PREP 15 MINS, PLUS SOAKING TIME

COOK 45 MINS

 

SERVES 8

200g pitted dates

190g butter, roughly cubed

100g golden caster sugar

3 eggs

30g black treacle

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

200g self-raising flour

120g soft light brown sugar

200ml double cream

ice cream, to serve (optional)

 

EQUIPMENT

22cm x 15cm baking dish

food processor

1) Place the dates in a large bowl, pour over 175ml boiling water and leave to stand for a minimum of 30 minutes (you might find that if you have very dry dates they benefit from a further 15 minutes).

2) Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/gas 4) and line the baking dish with baking parchment.

3) Place the dates and all the soaking liquid in a food processor. Add 100g of the butter, the golden caster sugar, eggs and treacle. Blitz until pretty much smooth (don’t worry if it looks as if the butter and eggs are splitting, it will all come good).

4) Add the bicarbonate of soda and flour and blitz until you reach a smooth consistency. Tip the batter into the lined baking dish. Spread the batter out so it is fairly even and then slide into the oven and bake for 45 minutes.

5) Place the remaining 90g of butter in a saucepan with the soft light brown sugar and double cream, and bring slowly to the boil, stirring regularly. Boil the sauce for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.

6) When the sponge is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and prick it all over with a fork. Pour over about 4 tablespoons of the sauce and spread it over the top of the pudding. Let it stand for 5 minutes, then remove from the dish, cut into squares and serve up with the remaining toffee sauce and ice cream, if you really want to push the boat out.

 


SAVE 30 PER CENT ON JOE’S NEW BOOK

 

Our special pullout is adapted from Cooking for Family & Friends: 100 Lean Recipes to Enjoy Together by Joe Wicks, to be published on 1 June by Bluebird, price £20. 

 

As well as Joe’s introduction, recipe chapters include: Reduced Carb; Post Workout; On the Side; Starters & Snacks; Smoothies & Sweet Treats.

 

To order a copy for £14 (a 30 per cent discount) until 11 June, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.

 

Stay in touch with Joe…

 

@thebodycoachThe Body Coach TVthebodycoach.com